Margarites - Arkadi - Patsos

Details

DURATION

6 - 8 hours

DIFFICULTY

Medium

GROUP SIZE

2 - 6 persons

SCHEDULE

Every Monday and Wednesday

TYPE

Small group tour

PICK UP TIME

09:00 (Depending on your hotel)

PICK UP PLACE

Hotels in Rethymno district

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Highlights

  • Discover Margarites village, its extraordinary architecture and lovely narrow streets
  • Watch the demonstration of traditional pottery making
  • Enjoy a traditional coffee at the kafeneio while having a breathtaking view
  • Admire the remarkable scenery of Arkadi monastery and learn about its history 
  • Explore the Patsos gorge, its natural beauty and its rich flora and fauna
  • Feel the religiousness of the unique cavernous church of St. Antony
  • Taste the Cretan gastronomy at a local taverna and enjoy the house wine
ITINERARY

Every Stop a Unique Experience

1st Stop

A small beautiful village

We will start our tour by visiting a beautiful well-hidden village, Margarites. The tradition of pottery has been an integral part of this village for many generations; there are lots of locals who still keep the tradition alive, up to this day, by transforming the traditional practice of pottery into modern art. In Margarites, we will meet our friend Yorgos, a local, who will show you how the pots are hand thrown. A demonstration of his art will follow, that will certainly stay “carved” in our memory. The village itself has a unique architecture and some lovely narrow winding streets, making it worth being explored. So, let’s wander through the quiet village of Margarites, enjoy the hundreds of colors that lie before our eyes and then enjoy a traditional coffee at a small “kafeneio”.

1st Stop

A small beautiful village

2 nd Stop

Feel the sanctity of Arkadi

2nd Stop

Feel the sanctity of Arkadi

After a 25' drive, we will continue to the religious and historical part of our tour. The goal is to become familiar with the Cretan culture and its religious customs. The Arkadi monastery is perhaps the best known monastery in Crete, due to its history of the Holocaust in 1866. However, its location and impressive architecture make it all more special. For everyone who visits the Arkadi monastery, the feeling is unique; serene and quiet, but also emotionally powerful. Dedicated to Saint Constantine, the church of the monastery is just exceptional. The monastery in general is full of flowers, so many that it is impossible to list them all, but the rose garden especially is extraordinary. Let’s not skip the museum chambers as well; there, we will find many photographs of historically important people, such as Hadjimichalis Giannaris, who during the revolution helped to ignite the patriotism and the anger of the Cretans. We will escort you to explore this magnificent monument, discuss about the history and less-known stories, but, since our guides are not official state guides, it is forbidden for them to give tours inside historical monuments. If you wish to have an official history guide, we will be happy to book one for you upon communication!

3rd Stop

Let’s explore the nature of Crete

Next up, is the gorge of Patsos. A small yet magnificent gorge, which begins at Ano Assites, is the necessary part to complete this excursion. The whole area around the gorge is of particular natural beauty. In the gorge, we can see rare species of flora and fauna, which are protected by the European legislation. As we walk onto the beautiful path, we will meet the attraction of the cavernous church of St. Anthony inside the rocky walls, which used to be a former temple of Hermes. If we want, we can stop at this point or even sooner, and head back for our return. If not, continuing from there, we will follow the trail to the ‘Potamon” dam. On the sides of the gorge there is an observation deck for birds in the area as well. During the biggest part of our hike, there is enough shadow and water to keep us cool; also, the feeling of walking under so many trees and next to running waters is unique! Usually, to complete the route, we will hike for about 3 1/2 hours, but depending on the weather and the physical condition of the travelers, we could hike more or less. It’s really up to you to choose how much walking we will do! When we decide to return, we follow the same path and end up at the starting point of the gorge. There, lies an amazing traditional "taverna", a typical Cretan one, where marriage fests also take place. The tour ends with the most wonderful way; full lunch and house wine in the taverna, where we can taste the traditional way of cooking in Crete.

3rd Stop

Let’s explore the nature of Crete

What’s Included

  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Only Rethymno district)
  • English or French speaking guide
  • Local driver / guide​
  • Transport by air-conditioned car​ / mini bus
  • Entrance to the monastery​
  • Learn about the religion of Crete
  • Walk in the beautiful gorge of Patsos
  • Lunch (vegetarian option included)
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges​
  • Lots of raki and laughter :)

ADULTS

125 EURO P/P
CHILDREN (3 - 12)50%
INFANTS (0 - 2)FREE
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